I love to cook and bake. My kitchen is my home. We rarely eat out, so that means I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Over the 14 years we have been married I have tried to make wise choices on kitchen items. I try not to make impulse buys or load up on gadgets and tools I won’t use, and I have sold or donated items I don’t use.
Today, I thought I would share my favorite kitchen items.
Immersion Blender — I am on my second immersion blender. I use it a lot for making homemade spaghetti sauce from canned or frozen tomatoes. I use it to blend soups or make smoothies (it works well even to blend up frozen berries). I now have a really nice blender so I don’t use it as often, but before that I used this about three to four times a week. If you aren’t ready to invest in a high quality blender, this little baby will do a lot of jobs around your kitchen at a fraction of the price.
(photo from Amazon)
Pampered Chef Baking Stone – My Pampered Chef baking stones are well seasoned because we use them all the time. My favorite is the bar pan (jelly roll size). Right before Christmas my bar pan slipped out of my hands and lost its life to my tile floor. I immediately called my mom and asked if she had bought my Christmas present yet – thankfully she hadn’t. I went without this for several weeks and man it was hard! I use this pan for EVERYTHING – cookies, pizza, bars, oven roasting veggies, baking chicken, and even making oven crispy bacon! I probably use this five days a week. I store mine in my oven because if I bake I am usually using this pan. I have a smaller version that fits in my toaster oven that I love, too, and a round pizza stone; but this size is the most practical, in my opinion.
Slow Cooker – A Crock Pot is a staple in any home, right? I have this Crock Pot and love it. I use it at least weekly. One feature I love is the warm setting. If the food is done before we are ready to eat, I just put it on the warm setting until supper. I also love the larger size of this slow cooker. I use it to make a very large batch of homemade spaghetti sauce once a month and then freeze the right sized portions for our family.
(photo from Amazon)
Fiestaware – We moved into our home two and a half years ago, and I wanted to change my kitchen colors. So, for my birthday and Christmas, I asked for new sets of Fiestaware dishes. Goodbye, old Corelle dishes! I was ready to just pick a practical color like cream, and my hubby said, “Are you sure you don’t want something colorful?” So, I took the plunge and love it! I have the basic sets and then have asked for bigger coffee mugs and serving dishes for Christmases here and there.
Blendtec Blender – My number one best investment in a kitchen tool is my Blendtec blender. I saved my pennies for a while to buy one last fall and haven’t regretted it at all. Yep, they are spendy, but I use mine one to two times a day – mostly for drinks like smoothies. Right now my favorite thing to make – frozen lemonade slushies. I puree two whole lemons (peel the rind off) with a bit of water until smooth, then I add a little more water and some agave syrup or sweetener of choice to taste, and blend up with a scoop or two of ice. Oh, it is so good, and I love to add frozen strawberries, too. I just bought two big bags of lemons at Costco because if summer ever comes I know we will be drinking this daily. You can make soups, puddings, ice creams, sorbets, chop nuts…. Really, the possibilities are endless.
I picked the Blendtec over the Vitamix, honestly, because of the price. The Blendtec was about $100 cheaper when I purchased mine. My mom has a Vitamix, and after using it the other weekend, I have to say I prefer my Blendtec for many reasons.
Tell me – what are your favorite kitchen items you can’t live without?